Former FBI Director James Comey plans to confirm bombshell accusations that President Donald Trump pressured him to drop his investigation into a top Trump aide’s ties to Russia during a public Senate hearing that could come as soon as next week, a source close to the issue told CNN on Wednesday.
The source tells CNN that Comey has already spoken privately with Special Counsel Robert Mueller about the overall parameters of his testimony to avoid any legal entanglements as a result of his public account.
In the weeks since Comey’s firing, The New York Times reported that Mr. Trump invited Comey to a dinner where he pressed the F.B.I. director to pledge his loyalty shortly after his January inauguration. Comey refused and instead offered Trump his honesty.
At another meeting in the Oval office, Mr. Trump told him he hoped Mr.Comey would shut down an investigation into Trump’s former national security adviser Michael Flynn. Shortly after his oval office meeting with the president, which took place a day after Flynn resigned, Comey wrote a memo detailing his conversation with Mr. Trump. “I hope you can see your way clear to letting this go, to letting Flynn go,” Trump reportedly told Comey.
The Times reports that Corey’s memo was part of an effort to create a paper trail documenting Trump’s “improper efforts to influence the investigation.”
Last week, the Times reported about yet another interaction in which President Trump called F.B.I. Director, James Comey, weeks after taking office and asked him when “federal authorities were going to put out word that Mr. Trump was not personally under investigation.”
“When he testifies, Comey is unlikely to be willing to discuss in any detail the FBI’s investigation into the charges of possible collusion between Russia and the Trump campaign,” CNN reports. “But he appears eager to discuss his tense interactions with Trump before his firing, which have now spurred allegations that the president may have tried to obstruct the investigation.”